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Powerful Storms, Flooding Rain Strike Dakotas

UPDATED 12:45 AM CDT, September 9, 2013

UPDATED By WeatherBug Meteorologist, Fred Allen

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Damaging thunderstorms packing very large and destructive hail and high winds will motor across the northern High Plains late tonight and early this morning. Even worse, a few of the thunderstorms will trigger flash flooding as well.

Severe Thunderstorm Watches stretch from far southeastern Montana into southern North Dakota and central and northern North Dakota, including Pierre and Aberdeen, S.D.

A massive bubble of high pressure draped across the eastern-central Plains is dividing unusually hot and humid air across much of the Nation`s Heartland from cooler, drier Canadian air seeping into the Upper Midwest. At the same time, low pressure rushing along the northern fringes of this intense heat ridge of high pressure is energizing the severe thunderstorms rolling across parts of North and South Dakota.

The single biggest concern will be destructive wind gusts topping out around 75 mph, with a secondary threat of hailstones greater than baseball size.

Cities such as Pierre, Mobridge, and Aberdeen, S.D., will all need to keep their WeatherBug active and the chirp up loud in case your neighborhood is threatened by these powerful thunderstorms tonight.

Making matters worse is the severe thunderstorms sweeping across the Dakotas will trigger drenching downpours in a short time. One to 2 inches of rain could cause quick run-off, leading to flash flooding in poor drainage areas, especially near storm drains clogged by debris flow.

Flood and Flash Flood Watches remain in place from northeastern Montana into northwestern Minnesota through Monday morning. If you approach a flooded roadway, remember the adage, "Turn Around, Don`t Drown."

Even though the severe weather is just getting underway tonight, hailstones measuring greater than softball-size fell near Rozet, Wyo. Golf ball-size hail fell near Stockett, Mont., and Piedmont, S.D. Thus far, there have been a total of 11 severe weather reports tonight.

Make sure that you take WeatherBug with you on your smart phone, tablet and computer. The mobile apps now include Spark Lightning Alerts, a GPS-based lightning detection feature providing you the location of the closest lightning strike, so you can Know Before the storm hits. Click here to download it.

Be sure to keep WeatherBug active to receive the latest weather in your neighborhood and get the latest updates anywhere on Twitter.

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